Founder and CEO
CGI Investment Management LLC
Raoul has extensive advisory and investment banking experience. His background spans a wide range of advisory, structuring and new product development expertise, including positions he has held both within the global investment banking and regulatory world. Mr. Thomas has been a US Banking Regulator as well as an executive for such leading global institutions as Barclays Capital and Royal Merchant Bank. He has arranged and advised on over 80 syndicated and structured finance deals totaling in excess of $14 billion dollars over the past decade, with extensive experience throughout the Caribbean, Latin American and US institutional and high net worth markets.
Mr. Thomas is the son of a world renowned economist, Dr. Clive Thomas, who is a senior level professional in the emerging and global markets. Dr. Thomas afforded his son the opportunity to live in several countries in Africa, South America and Europe during pivotal years of his life; shaping his global perspective and developing a unique experience base that has paid dividends to Mr. Thomas in his professional life and business outlook.
Mr. Thomas began his professional career supervising international banks licensed in the State of Florida and the US as a bank regulator. During his tenure he was extensively involved in matters related to the Latin American debt crisis, and through these assignments was exposed to regulatory oversight of the US banking system during a time of much global economic unrest. This experience provided a solid banking training ground within US regulatory framework. From the onset of his professional career Mr. Thomas began to nurture high level business relationships with corporate and financial institutions in the US, Europe and Latin America which would yield many benefits to his future efforts.
From 1995 to 2002, Mr. Thomas gained extensive transactional experience while working for Barclays Capital and Royal Bank of Canada (”RBTT”) in the Caribbean as head of their respective capital markets divisions. He oversaw the structuring, marketing and placement of structured corporate finance transactions in Latin American, US and European markets throughout a broad network of institutional relationships. In 2003, Mr. Thomas became a private investment banker for Mr. Michael Lee-Chin, at the time, Forbes’ 203rd wealthiest individual and 6th wealthiest Canadian in the world. During his two-year assignment with Mr. Lee-Chin, Mr. Thomas raised significant amounts of capital for Mr. Lee Chin for the acquisition of numerous assets and enterprises throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. Mr. Thomas’ entrepreneurial aspirations were heightened from this particular occupation, and helped spark the birth of CGI Merchant Group (“CGI”), the investment banking boutique which he founded in 2005.
Since its inception, CGI has accumulated over $600 million in total capital commitments and disbursements. In 2011, CGI arranged a $130 million loan for Brickell Holdings to complete the development of 600 Brickell, a 40 story, Class A+ office tower with approximately 600,000 square feet in the heart of Miami’s Brickell submarket. At the time of closing, this transaction was the largest real estate transaction in Florida since 2009. Most recently, CGI has come off a successful advisory assignment for the government of Aruba, during which the firm was consulted by the prime minister and his cabinet on economic and fiscal matters in light of the country’s annual sovereign credit rating review by US credit agencies. Consequential to CGI’s assignment, S&P revised the outlook of Aruba’s sovereign credit rating to Stable from Credit Watch Negative, and affirmed its ‘A-/A-2’ credit rating. CGI works in an advisory and capital execution capacity for large corporations, sovereign governments and high net worth individuals in the areas of corporate and project finance, liability management, asset management and other investment banking verticals. The Firm has a wealth of knowledge of the capital markets, which combined with their ingenuity and experience distinguishes them from other alternative investment managers. The CGI team is comprised of contrarian, value-oriented investors in real estate and infrastructure focused on risk management. Leveraging the capabilities of partnerships with institutional investment managers and our related family office, these dedicated resources facilitate integrated solutions to best serve the unique needs of our Investment Management Platform.
In the last three years CGI has become a private-equity, alternative investment manager that capitalizes on commercial real estate and infrastructure opportunities by using an entrepreneurial approach to building stakeholder value. Today, CGI manages close to $500.000 of class- A commercial real estate in South Florida, with a value of over $250 million in multiple assets classes including retail, office, and leisure. CGI has launched its inaugural Fund with a target size of $75 million and has closed the first seed investor of an estimate of 10 million.